The bill for the city of Missoula’s eminent domain attempt to acquire Mountain Water Company continues to rise. Today, February 22, Missoula City Councilman Harlan Wells said he had already decided how he would be voting on further acquisition costs.

"Generally speaking on Monday Nights there are expenses that go on the consent agenda and whenever there is a Mountain Water one, much like Adam Hertz did, I separate the question and vote no on those just because I am so against this whole Mountain Water acquisition, especially the way that we've gone about it."

The city council is being asked to approve another $184,688.72 in legal expenses tonight, but Wells said that the costs voted on by city council are only a fraction of the actual amount.

"What everyone needs to remember is that the fees that we keep seeing are only half of the battle," Wells said. "This is going to put us up to, what? $5.4 million on the city side and they are at least that on the Mountain Water side. Some of that may not pass through, but a lot of that will,  so, now we're looking at a $10 million legal bill, 12 times greater than what the mayor thought it would cost."

As has happened many times before, Missoula city council is expected to approve the expenditures despite Well’s objections. At $94,412.82, law firm Boone Karlburg is set to received the largest payment, followed by Pekins Coie with over $75,035.90, and Datsopolous, Macdonald and Lind with over $15,240.

Screen shot courtesy of the city of Missoula